Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
And even though a formula may have an equal number of left and right parentheses, the parentheses might not
match properly. For example, consider the following formula, which converts a text string such that the first
character is uppercase, and the remaining characters are lowercase. This formula has five pairs of parentheses,
and they match properly.
=UPPER(LEFT(A1))&RIGHT(LOWER(A1),LEN(A1)-1)
Using Formula AutoCorrect
When you enter a formula that has a syntax error, Excel attempts to determine the problem and offers a sugges-
ted correction. The accompanying figure shows an example of a proposed correction.
Be careful when accepting corrections for your formulas from Excel because it does not always guess correctly.
For example, I entered the following formula (which has mismatched parentheses):
=AVERAGE(SUM(A1:A12,SUM(B1:B12))
Excel then proposed the following correction to the formula:
=AVERAGE(SUM(A1:A12,SUM(B1:B12)))
You may be tempted to accept the suggestion without even thinking. In this case, the proposed formula is syn-
tactically correct — but not what I intended. The correct formula is as follows:
=AVERAGE(SUM(A1:A12),SUM(B1:B12))
The following formula also has five pairs of parentheses, but they are mismatched. The result displays a syn-
tactically correct formula that simply returns the wrong result.
=UPPER(LEFT(A1)&RIGHT(LOWER(A1),LEN(A1)-1))
Often, parentheses that are in the wrong location will result in a syntax error, which is usually a message that
tells you that you entered too many or too few arguments for a function.
Excel can help you with mismatched parentheses. When you edit a formula, use the ar-
row keys to move the cursor to a parenthesis and pause. Excel displays it (and its
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